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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.13/35452
- Prospect-refuge theory and Alvar Aalto's 'Experimental House' at Muuratsalo: 'what is it that we like about Aalto's site-related architecture and why?'
- The University of Newcastle. Faculty of Engineering & Built Environment, School of Architecture and Built Environment
- The architecture of Alvar Aalto exemplifies developed relationships with nature, the site and the greater landscape. Aalto's interest in these matters is repeatedly mentioned in critical commentary on his built work, notably the Muuratsalo 'Experimental House' of 1953. Geographer Jay Appleton originally put forward his 'prospect-refuge theory' to help explain, in his words, 'what it is that we like about landscape and why'. The theory makes an extended argument for biologically, rather than culturally derived human landscape preferences. Prospect-refuge theory has been used by Grant Hildebrand to discuss Wright's houses, and has been mentioned by other commentators in an architectural context. Appleton's prospect-refuge theory of human landscape preference is discussed, using the theory's terminology to identify and comment on architectural elements which offer an observer satisfaction and pleasure in that they symbolize landscape elements which once had survival benefit for archaic Homo sapiens. Numerous prospect-refuge elements are discernible in Aalto's Muuratsalo house; they are described and discussed as part of 'what it is that we like about Aalto's siterelated architecture', and to help explain why Aalto and the Muuratsalo house continue to be held in high critical and popular regard.
- Progress / SAHANZ 03: 20th Annual Conference of the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand. Progress: the Proceedings of the Twentieth 20th Annual Conference of the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand (Sydney 3-5 October, 2003) p. 263-268
- Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand
Experimental House (Muuratsalo, 1953);
- Resource Type
- conference paper
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